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Clever ways to hang holiday lights without poking holes in your walls

Most of us don't bother to deck the halls with boughs of holly anymore -- but we do opt for tiny lights to spruce up the joint this time of year. Unfortunately, if you're looking to do some decorating with indoor lighting, it can be tough to get the look you want without your paint with pinholes. But there are tasteful ways to get the look of holiday lights, without the pockmarked plaster. Here are a few ideas for how to make it work.

Stick 'em up: Adhesive-backed hooks are the obvious choice for hanging almost anything without creating holes -- except a lot of household items are just too heavy a load for these little plastic things to bear. But luckily, lights are, well, light. Instead of draping the lights across the hook part, which can often be shallow and risk falling off, put the hook between the two twisted strands that comprise most electic lights. Done and done.

Use what you've got: If you're blessed enough to have any kind of interesting architectural feature, like in-the-wall bookshelves, wainscotting, or even crown molding, you can use all-purpose clips or hooks to hold lights straight, without having to jab pins into the actual walls. Your closest hardware store can probably point you in the direction of these kinds of clips, or hooks which come in all sizes. Just make sure to measure the area you're clipping onto first. Then, once you've got them in place, use them like you'd use the sticky hooks above.

Even if you don't have built-in features, consider hanging your lights from a bookshelf or other piece of sturdy furniture, rather than the walls themselves. Just make sure you unplug them when you leave the house!

Put that brickwork to work: Similarly, a brick fireplace or mantel is an easy place to hang lights. But rather than trying to drill some nails into the mortar, use brick clips to hold your decorations in place.

Don't spare the rod: A neat way to put lights in your front windows is to use a second curtain rod, and either wrap the lights around it, or use zip-ties to attach the lights to it. Converting a single curtain rod to a double is quite easy -- and there are lots of how-tos available to walk you through the process.